Oxfam's Haiti director quits after internal probe launched

by Katie Nguyen | Katie_Nguyen1 | Thomson Reuters Foundation
Monday, 15 August 2011 12:30 GMT

Resignation is week after Oxfam said it suspended "small number" of staff in Haiti due to allegations of misconduct which it was investigating

LONDON (AlertNet) - The director of Oxfam's operations in Haiti has stepped down amid an internal inquiry into alleged misconduct by staff in the Caribbean country, the charity said.

Roland Van Hauwermeiren's resignation comes a week after Oxfam announced it had suspended a "small number" of staff in quake-hit Haiti due to allegations of misconduct which it was investigating.

"He's taking managerial responsibility for the issues that occurred while he was there," Oxfam spokeswoman Jen Corlew told AlertNet on Monday.

Haiti is slowly emerging from last year's devastating earthquake which destroyed large parts of the capital Port-au-Prince and left hundreds of thousands of people without a home.

The scale of the destruction sparked a massive humanitarian response with hundreds of millions of dollars raised to fund relief efforts in the poorest country in the Americas.

"These misconduct allegations are not connected to any incidents of fraud and have not affected the approximately $98 million Oxfam fundraised following the earthquake in Haiti," Oxfam said in a statement dated Aug. 12.

The inquiry was due to be completed "shortly", Oxfam said.

"We will determine the appropriate actions against the accused staff, who total under five people, following the outcome of the investigation," the British-based charity added.

(Editing by Astrid Zweynert)

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